They say London's nightlife is dying a sad death. The council are killing off our best clubs and nights - Madame Jojos, People's, Turnmills, Plastic People - so it's apt that Christopher Shannon, a designer who's outspoken about not selling out or giving in to commercial pressures, was offering an antidote to sanitised culture and harking back to hedonistic raves and holiday revelry. There are few things that make one more nostalgic for the club culture of yore than the promise of a foam party. Those sweaty, sticky nights pull punters to the likes of Magaluf and Kavos every summer. Horny, hungry lads come keen to lose themselves, peeling off clothes with every neon hued vodka shot. Shannon was paying tribute to those nights by covering models' hair in blobs of foam as if they'd wandered into the street after a hard night's clubbing. Their outfits also suggested a night of anarchy - neon bikini tops hung from some boy's necks as if stolen from a dance floor snogging partner. Implied nudity ran through their clothes also - tiny shorts and sheer bombers revealed flashes of toned flesh. Clusters of neon 'junk', fashioned into pins by Judy Blame, hinted at the wastefulness of these nights - the binge drinking, the disposable plastic shot glasses, the cheap cocktail sticks - while the wavey, ravey branding suggested heady consumption; the lewd, inviting signs that litter Balearic beachfronts and call out to revellers.
But, as with all places where sun, sea and sex dominate, behind the cheery brights and beachwear, there's a dark side - a seedy underbelly. The collection hinted at too much fun - at nights gone wrong, as so many drunken exploits do. It's what Shannon does best - he hooks you in with surface but follows through with intellect. That signature knowing naughtiness and moody subversive spirit was ever present, notably in knits branded with lighters reading 'Damaged' and 'Needy'. You get the sense of Shannon being constantly underwhelmed both by the state of much fashion around him and also culture as a whole - so while it was easy to bop along to Philip George's Wish You Were Mine and smile at those fun Blame broaches, one also found oneself reflecting, looking back and hoping for the kind of pure fun that seemed so easy in the past.